BAC Student Named 2016 Recipient of Steven G. King Play Environments Scholarship

Erica Quigley, Master of Landscape Architecture, infuses passion for play in design of public landscapes

"Spinning Hut" Secret Shelters Competition Winner; Designed by Erica Quigley and Ross Miller

"Spinning Hut" Secret Shelters Competition Winner; Designed by Erica Quigley and Ross Miller

The BAC congratulates Erica Quigley, a student in the Master of Landscape Architecture program, for being selected as the 2016 recipient of the Steven G. King Play Environments Scholarship from the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

The Steven G. King Play Environment Scholarship recognizes a student who has high potential in the design of play environments. It was created by Steven G. King, FASLA, founder and chairman of Landscape Structures Inc., who revolutionized the playground industry with the invention of the "continuous play concept."

Erica embodies the spirit of the scholarship. Prior to arriving at the BAC, she worked as an environmental educator with Mass Audubon, where she discovered a passion for play spaces. She finds herself inspired by the way design creates opportunities for people to play, connect, and find enjoyable ways of living. This passion brought her to study landscape architecture at the BAC, and she currently works as a landscape/playscape designer at studioMLA Architects in Brookline, MA.

In her application essay, Erica reflected on a transformational past experience at Mass Audubon's Boston Nature Center. She worked with her future employer, landscape architect Joanne Hiromura, to design a natural play space called the Nature Nook. As a summer camp instructor, she observed how children, when given the freedom, create their own world, filled with its own architecture, culture, and economy. Through assisting with the design and management of the Nature Nook, Erica developed an appreciation for the beauty of self-directed play.

"Anyone who's been in studio with me knows that I'm obsessed with play," stated Erica. "Although I'm impressed by innovative playgrounds, I'm an advocate for a post-playground world, a phrase used by Playscapes blog editor Paige Johnson. Children have a right to play and participate in community life. The city itself offers the best opportunities for child-directed play, if we only gave them the freedom. I envision a city where kids can walk or bike to meet their friends, create their own games, be thrilled by their own adventures."

Research has confirmed what Erica has known for years: that play makes people happy and active. If public spaces have playful elements, they will be well used and well loved. People who use the spaces will build community with each other and act as stakeholders for it.

Erica is currently in the process of completing her master's degree in landscape architecture at the BAC and plans to use her passion to design playful landscapes and play spaces where children and young adults can move around and actively participate in community and social life.

Please join us in congratulating Erica on this accomplishment!